NOTE: The Rand Corporation conducted an extensive and broad study on the US’ future use of military force. This study is important for the peace movement for several reasons:
- They show public opinion has an impact on what the military is able to do by “producing political gridlock” on “resourcing the defense budget [and] responding to international crises”. They anticipate this opposition to military spending and war may increase.
- They indicate that the US’ ability to manufacture weapons is declining because both production capacity and access to necessary resources are lower. At the same time, China and Russia’s military power is increasing.
- They write that the size of the US military is smaller than it was during the Cold War.
- They admit that sanctions are not effective because countries have found ways to work around them.
- They are very concerned about what they call ‘lawfare’ – countries using international legal systems to stop US aggression.
- They are concerned about losing control of the message – they can no longer control what the public sees because of social media, distrust of the government and “partisan news sources.”
As a result, they conclude that the US is at a crossroads: “Break with the past and become dramatically more selective about where, when, and why it commits forces, or maintain or even double down on its commitments, knowing full well that doing so will come with significantly greater cost—in treasure and, perhaps, in blood.”
Implications for the US peace movement: We need to continue to raise awareness of the costs of war economically, in human life, environmental destruction and increasing insecurity. We need to continue organizing campaigns to cut the military budget, close US foreign bases, end sanctions and respect international law.
US Empire is likely to choose the path of doubling down. We must demand standing down – defunding the military, investing in positive programs that support human rights and protect the planet and respecting international law and using diplomacy to solve conflicts. – MF
Peering into the Crystal Ball.
Holistically Assessing the Future of Warfare
Where will the next war occur? Who will fight in it? Why will it occur? How will it be fought? This brief summarizes a series of reports that sought to answer these questions—looking out from now until 2030. The reports took the approach of examining these questions through the lenses of several trends—geopolitical, economic, environmental, legal, informational, and military—that will shape the contours of conflict.
Military history is littered with mistaken predictions about the future of warfare that have left forecasters militarily unprepared—sometimes disastrously so—for the conflicts ahead. The United States has suffered its own share of bad predictions […]